Say hello to "El Gordo," one of the biggest cosmic collisions you will ever witness.
Radiating brightly in X-ray and infrared emissions, El Gordo - meaning "the big one" or "the fat one" in Spanish, a nickname given to the object by astronomers - is two galactic clusters smashing into one another 7 billion light-years away.
However, the term "smashing into one another" isn't entirely accurate. Indeed, the two clusters of galaxies are going through a head-on collision, and they are ploughing through space at a breakneck speed of several millions of miles per hour, but few (if any) of the stars contained within the galaxies inside the clusters will physically collide.
There is a lot of space between the galaxies and stars, so they'll simply whiz past one another - but the gravitational turmoil caused by these two clusters colliding is fierce and interactions between the shocked gas and dust are dazzlingly beautiful.
"This cluster is the most massive, the hottest, and gives off the most X-rays of any known cluster at this distance or beyond," said Felipe Menanteau of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., who led the study.